Holmes on the Range

Holmes on the Range

4.2 19
by Steve Hockensmith
     
 

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Because 1893 is a tough year in Montana, any job is a good job. When Big Red and Old Red Amlingmeyer sign on as ranch hands at the secretive Bar VR cattle spread, they're not expecting much more than hard work, bad pay, and a comfortable campfire around which they can enjoy their favorite pastime: scouring Harper's Weekly for stories about the famous

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Overview

Because 1893 is a tough year in Montana, any job is a good job. When Big Red and Old Red Amlingmeyer sign on as ranch hands at the secretive Bar VR cattle spread, they're not expecting much more than hard work, bad pay, and a comfortable campfire around which they can enjoy their favorite pastime: scouring Harper's Weekly for stories about the famous Sherlock Holmes.

When the boys come across a dead body that looks a whole lot like the leftovers of an unfortunate encounter with a cattle stampede, Old Red sees the perfect opportunity to employ his Holmes-inspired deducifyin' skills. Putting his ranch work squarely on the back burner, he sets out to solve the case. Big Red, like it or not (and mostly he does not), is along for the wild ride in this clever, compelling, and completely one-of-a-kind mystery.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Award-winning narrator William Dufris gives a virtuoso performance on this enormously entertaining tale of Gustave "Old Red" Amlingmeyer, a Montana cowboy who dreams of being a western Sherlock Holmes. When mysterious murders occur on the ranch where he and his brother are working, Old Red sees his chance and immediately sets out to sniff out the culprit. The story is told in first person by the would-be detective's kid brother, Otto ("Big Red"), and with an authentic western drawl Dufris slips into the role as comfortably as an old pair of cowboy boots, conveying Big Red's amiability and frequent befuddlement as he struggles to keep up with his older brother's "deducifyin' ". Dufris creates believable, distinctive voices for a large and colorful cast-among them the gravel-voiced ranch foreman, a Cockney cowboy, a pompous English duke and his ladylike daughter and a Swedish cook-and does it so well that a listener might well believe he's listening to a full troupe of actors. A truly gifted narrator, memorable characters and a tale full of adventure and humor-what more could an audiobook fan ask for? Simultaneous release with the St. Martin's Minotaur hardcover (Reviews, Nov. 7). (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Forbes Magazine
Sherlock Holmes is indirectly involved in Hockensmith’s mystery. A couple of colorful cowboys, brothers Gustav (Old Red) and Otto (Big Red) Amlingmeyer find themselves employed at a mysterious ranch. Foul play is afoot, and, having read Watson’s stories about his illustrious companion in magazines, the brothers employ Holmesian methods to try to solve the case of how an albino cowboy turned up dead in a locked outhouse, as well as another death that looks accidental--but isn’t. The brothers’ adventure involves plenty of sleuthing and many unusual characters, including an English lord and a man-eating mountaineer aptly named Hungry Bob. A wild, well-told western mystery. (27 Mar 2006)
—Steve Forbes
Kirkus Reviews
Inspired by the Baker Street genius, a Montana cowboy solves some murders at the cattle ranch where he works. Redheaded cowpoke Gustav Amlingmeyer ("Old Red") has a hankering for the adventures of Sherlock Holmes. After reading Doyle's "The Red-Headed League," he feels that emulating the famous sleuth is his destiny. Gustav's younger brother Otto ("Big Red"), playing Watson to his brother's Holmes, relates a tale evocative of sagebrush and cactus. The brothers sign on for a hitch at the Bar-VR cattle ranch, where they work alongside a quirky collection of ranch hands with handles like Swivel-Eye and Crazymouth. Tough as they are, a chill goes through the group when they learn that a frontier cannibal named Hungry Bob has escaped from jail. An ornery hand named Perkins disappears, and it's naturally assumed that Hungry Bob is the culprit. Only Old Red has a contrary opinion and sets out to prove it, risking retaliation from both his cranky cohorts and the killer, if there is one. More mystifying is the death of the albino foreman Boudreaux, found locked in the outhouse clutching his Peacemaker. Looks like a suicide, but Old Red effectively dissects the evidence and makes a case for murder. Can the solution be far behind?Hockensmith's debut is a winning twist on a proven franchise. Playful chapter titles add authenticity and flavor.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781429905558
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
04/01/2007
Series:
Holmes on the Range Series , #1
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
246,084
File size:
0 MB

Read an Excerpt


"That mess ain't Humpty Dumpty," I said, tossing a shovel at Old Red's boots.
"You can't put the man back together again."

"It ain't the feller's body I'm tryin' to piece together," he said. "I'm tryin' to figger out how he got like this."

I froze mid-dig. Without quite knowing it, I'd been waiting for this moment for months. It was like waking up at the sound of a train whistle---and remembering you'd fallen asleep on the tracks.

"Damn it, Brother," I said. "You're a cowboy, not a detective."

Old Red didn't answer with words. He just turned and showed me that little wisp of a grin he slips under his mustache when he thinks he's being clever.

Oh? his smile said. A feller can't be both?

---from Holmes on the Range

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